The Oscar Shorts start at Alamo Ritz on Feb 11th!
You can get tickets for the Animated Shorts HERE and the Live-Action HERE.
The Oscar's are coming, we've talked about it, we agree with some things, and we're not having a Red Carpet Bash this year. These are all things we know. What we also know is that it's hard to win in an Oscar betting pool if you haven't seen all the things up for an award! We can help with that!
We can't help with EVERYTHING, mind you -- we don't have anything slated for the best foreign film (although our pick, Greece's DOGTOOTH, is now on Netflix instant watch) -- but we can definitely hook you up with the live-action and animated shorts! These gems are hard to find unless you go to every festival ever for a full year and watch every shorts program. Fortunately, the folks at Shorts International have been distributing Oscar shorts for a couple years now, and we encourage you to see all of them!
When I cut a trailer last week to advertise these shows, I looked through the list of hopeful noms. The Academy (of something and something.. ) narrowed all the shorts down to 10 animated and 10 live-action before the official nomination date. I need footage for this trailer, so I went through and checked out what I could (essentially - what trailers were available on YouTube). My basic conclusion: Holy damn, these things look good! Also, I apologize in advance for talking about how "cute" and "adorable" most of these are (I can't help it!).
Let's start with the animated shorts. If you saw Toy Story 3 in the theater, an absolutely gorgeous 3D short film kicked it off. DAY & NIGHT, directed by Teddy Newton is a 6 minute film about "Day" and "Night" becoming super cute BFFs and they show each other rainbows and fireworks! If you don't remember it (or never saw it -- shame!), check out the clip:
Next up, THE GRUFFALO, another super cute, family friendly short that's about 27 minutes long and features voices by Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson, and John Hurt. It involves a tiny little cartoon mouse with a British accent, and therefore wins my heart.
Then we have something a little less cutesy, and a little more incredible-animation-y. MADAGASCAR, CARNET DE VOYAGE (A JOURNEY DIARY), an 11 minute French film of one man's travel through Malagasy culture. It also contains an beautiful mix of different animation styles and incredible imagery. Not to be confused with the sub-par animated children's film with the dancing lemurs.
THE LOST THING, based on the children's book by Shaun Tan, is 15 minutes of a cool creature with tentacles and a boy who wants to help it. I don't know much about this one, except that I want to watch it all.
LET'S POLLUTE (6 min) is a modern satire on how pollution is our heritage and keeps our economy growing strong, while instructing us how to be better polluters for a better blighted tomorrow. Kinda like Wall-E, but without the cute robots to distract you from actually realizing we're destroying the planet!
ON TO THE LIVE-ACTION SHORTS!
THE CONFESSION, a 26 minute British film, is about an innocent 9-year-old who decides that he needs something to confess for his first confession. Catholic schools freak me out.
In THE CRUSH (15 min) the cutest school boy in the world takes his crush on his teacher to the next level... by challenging her boyfriend to a duel... TO THE DEATH!
GOD OF LOVE combines two things I never thought of together: lounge singing and dart throwing. A lovestruck lounge-singing darts champion requests the help of the God of Love to make his bandmate love him. These divine intervention plots always have some sort of bizarro turnout. This film plays it out well.
NA WEWE (19 min.). Okay I don't know a lot about this one, and I don't know why they're yelling, so I'm just going to give the press description: In 1994, as the Rwandan genocide spills over into neighboring Burundi, a bus is attacked by a group of rebels. -- sounds crazy, yo!
WISH 143 (24 min.) is the only short that I was able to watch all the way through. I didn't want to, cause I wanted to see all of them together on the big screen, but I was unable to stop watching this! David, a teen-aged terminally ill hospital patient, is visited by the Wishman (like Make-A-Wish-Foundation), but David's only wish is to lose his virginity. Really well done. Super sweet and sad and great.
So those are the shorts! You should definitely go watch all of them. You can get tickets for the Animated Shorts HERE and the Live-Action HERE. Then let us know who you think will win on our Facebook page!